New South Wales Consolidated Acts

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DISTRICT COURT ACT 1973 - SECT 4

Definitions: general

4 Definitions: general

(1) In this Act, except in so far as the context or subject-matter otherwise indicates or requires:

"action" means action in the Court, but does not include any proceedings under Division 8 of Part 3 or under Part 4.

"admitted set-off" , in relation to an action, means set-off admitted by the plaintiff in the document lodged by the plaintiff to commence the action or, where a defendant pleads a cross-claim, by the defendant in the prescribed notice of the cross-claim.

"Chief Judge" means Chief Judge of the Court.

"civil procedure rules" means rules of Court made and in force under Part 3.

"civil proceedings" means proceedings in the Court in its civil jurisdiction.

"corporation" includes any body of persons that may by law sue or be sued, whether in its own name or in the name of any officer or other person.

"criminal procedure rules" means rules of Court made and in force under Part 4.

"criminal proceedings" means proceedings in the Court in its criminal jurisdiction.

"file" , in relation to any proceedings, means lodge with the registrar for the proper place in relation to the proceedings, for inclusion in the record of the Court.

"Judge" means Judge of the Court.

"judgment" , in relation to an action, means judgment given or entered up in the action.

"jurisdictional limit" of the Court means $750,000.

"land" includes messuages, tenements and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, of any tenure or description, and whatever may be the estate or interest therein, whether vested or contingent, whether freehold or leasehold, and whether at law or in equity.

"mandatory judicial retirement age" means the maximum age at which a Judge is required by law to retire.
Note : Section 44 of the Judicial Officers Act 1986 provided for a maximum retirement age for Judges of 72 years before its amendment by the Justice Legislation Amendment Act (No 3) 2018 .
Section 44 of the Judicial Officers Act 1986 , as amended, has increased the maximum retirement age for Judges to 75 years. Clause 9 of Schedule 6 to the Judicial Officers Act 1986 provides that the new retirement age does not apply to Judges holding office who were appointed before the amendments commenced unless they consent to the change applying to them as required by section 55 (2) of the Constitution Act 1902 . The retirement age of 72 years continues to apply to Judges who do not consent to the increased retirement age applying to them.

"motor accident claim" means a claim for damages arising from the death of, or injury to, a person where the death or injury has been caused by an act or omission of the owner or driver of a motor vehicle in the use or operation of the vehicle.

"officer" , in relation to a corporation, includes a director and any person having (whether alone or with others) powers of management, direction or control of the corporation.

"prescribed" means prescribed by this Act or the rules.

"Principal Registrar" means the registrar for Sydney.

"proceedings" :
(a) where occurring in a provision of Part 3 and in subsections (3) and (5), means civil proceedings,
(b) where occurring in a provision of Part 4, means criminal proceedings, and
(c) where occurring in any other provision of this Act, shall be construed according to the context in which the expression occurs.

"proclaimed place" means a place for the time being specified in a proclamation under section 18F.

"proper place" , in relation to any proceedings in the Court in its civil jurisdiction:
(a) where there has been no change of venue in respect of the proceedings--means the proclaimed place at which the proceedings were commenced,
(b) where there has been only one change of venue in respect of the proceedings--means the proclaimed place to which the venue was changed, or
(c) where there have been two or more changes of venue in respect of the proceedings--means the proclaimed place to which the venue was last changed.

"registry" , in relation to a proclaimed place, means the office of the registrar for the proclaimed place.

"Rule Committee" means the District Court Rule Committee established under section 18A.

"sitting place" means:
(a) any proclaimed place, and
(b) in relation to the Court's civil jurisdiction--any place (other than a proclaimed place) that is the subject of a direction in force under section 32 (1), and
(c) in relation to the Court's criminal jurisdiction--any place (other than a proclaimed place) that is the subject of a direction in force under section 173 (1).

"the Court" or
"the District Court" means the District Court of New South Wales, and includes all registries and offices of the Court, whether they are within the precincts of the Court or not.

"the registrar" , in relation to any proceedings, means the registrar for the proper place in relation to the proceedings, and, where any other registrar is authorised by or under this Act to exercise or discharge any power, authority, duty or function of the registrar for that place, includes that other registrar when exercising or discharging that power, authority, duty or function.

"the rules" means:
(a) where occurring in Part 3 and Division 2 of Part 6, the civil procedure rules, and
(b) where occurring in Part 4, the criminal procedure rules.

"work injury damages claim" means a claim for an award of damages to which Division 3 (Modified common law damages) of Part 5 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 applies.
Note : The Interpretation Act 1987 contains definitions and other provisions that affect the interpretation and application of this Act.
(2) A reference in this Act:
(a) to the giving of a judgment is a reference to the recording and delivering of a judgment, not being a judgment under any provision of the civil procedure rules prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, and
(b) to the entering up of a judgment is a reference to the entering up of a judgment in accordance with any provision of the civil procedure rules so prescribed.
(3) A reference in this Act to the commencement of proceedings at a proclaimed place (however expressed) is a reference to the commencement of those proceedings by the lodging of the document commencing the proceedings with the registrar for that place.
(4) A reference in this Act to the issue of a document at a proclaimed place (however expressed) is a reference to the issue of that document by the registrar for that place.
(5) A reference in this Act to a stay of proceedings (however expressed) includes a reference to a stay of enforcement of the judgment arising from the proceedings.
(6) A reference in this Act to a stay of enforcement of a judgment includes a reference to a stay of the issue of an order or writ under Part 8 of the Civil Procedure Act 2005 .
(7) Where a provision of this Act refers to the amount claimed in an action or cross-claim or to the amount for which an action is authorised by this Act to be brought and the action or cross-claim is for the detention of goods, the reference to that amount shall be construed as a reference to an amount equivalent to the value of the goods together with any damages claimed for the detention of the goods.
(8) A reference in this Act to a Court of Quarter Sessions includes a reference to a court which, before 1 July 1973, was a Court of Sessions of the Peace, General Sessions of the Peace, General Sessions, General Quarter Sessions, General or Quarter Sessions, or General and Quarter Sessions.
(9) A reference in this Act to criminal jurisdiction includes a reference to jurisdiction to hear an appeal from any conviction, finding of guilt, sentence or other decision relating to the commission or alleged commission of an offence against the law in force in New South Wales.
(10) In this Act:
(a) a reference to a function includes a reference to a power, authority and duty, and
(b) a reference to the exercise of a function includes, where the function is a duty, a reference to the performance of the duty.
(11) A reference in this or any other Act, or in any instrument, to the registrar of the District Court for a proclaimed place is, if there are 2 registrars for that place, a reference to either registrar.
(12) Notes included in this Act do not form part of this Act.



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